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Increasing landfills pose risks in the Tinsukia district, of Assam

06:09 PM Dec 29, 2022 IST | nayanikaphukan
increasing landfills pose risks in the tinsukia district  of assam

In the current system, waste is an unavoidable by-product of human activities. With rising population, income growth, rapid urbanization, and a poor throwaway culture, waste volumes are increasing daily. In developing nations, issues with the supply of solid waste management services are becoming more serious. The inefficiency of the system significantly impacts the local environment and standard of living.

To ensure efficient collection, segregation, transportation, processing, and disposal of municipal solid waste, the Indian government published the Municipal Solid Waste (Management and Handling) rules 2000.

However, due to several factors, Indian states are frequently known for providing subpar services, including trash management, which is the most neglected of all essential services. 

SDG India Index

According to the SDG India Index released by NITI Aayog, Assam stands at the bottom three of all states. Now, consider the district of Tinsukia in Assam, which is well known for its Dibru-Saikhowa National Park, Dehing Patkai National Park, and the Dhokla Sadiya Bridge, the longest bridge in India. It is one of the largest districts in Assam, both in geographic area and demographic size.

Read more: NITI Aayog Releases SDG India Index and Dashboard 2020–21

According to a study, the maximum quantity of waste generated in the Tinsukia district compared to other districts is around 42 MT in 20 sq. km in a year. However, the region severely lacks the storage and separation of municipal solid waste into standard bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage. Although some trash bins are on the side of the road for waste disposal. But, they are either completely overflowing or rarely used due to their poor condition.

Read more: Community Participation for Urban Solid Waste Management: A Study on Tinsukia Municipality of Assam

Ground reality

In the past few years, door-to-door garbage collection has been implemented. But, the waste is never segregated and usually ends up in a landfill situated on the outskirts of the town. The stench is unbearable while passing through the landfill.  Many animals and birds can also be seen foraging in the open landfill, which can endanger their lives.

Read more: Solid Waste Management In Tinsukia District Of Assam, India

According to a paper published in the International Journal of Engineering Research and Technology (IJERT), open landfills have severe impacts, including releasing methane, one of the greenhouse gasses, and destroying natural habitats and wildlife.

Read more: Landfill Emissions and Their Impact on the Environment – IJERT

Also, the leachate from landfills can contain high levels of toxins. These toxins can reach the groundwater and nearest water bodies, contaminating the same. These landfill sites also pose health risks to people within 5 km of the site. Pollutants emitted from landfills can cause lung cancer and respiratory diseases. 

Conclusion

The individuals have to take accountability for their waste. Smaller regions or areas can easily be identified, and clean-up drives can be organized. At the same time, the governmental authorities have to be notified and pulled up to perform their duties.

Basic waste management can take us a long way in the fight against climate change. Not just this, inculcating the habit of being wasteless is a lifelong virtue.

There are solutions in various countries which has helped them reduce waste or manage it efficiently.

Also, Read

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